What is a Pastor?
The term “pastor” is found in Ephesians 4:11: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” It is translated from the Greek word poimen, which means “a shepherd” or a person who herds sheep (Danker, et. al., 2000 p. 684). It is used to describe actual shepherds in the birth story of Jesus in Luke 2:8. But it has an expanded meaning that includes the idea of spiritual shepherds who oversee a flock of “sheep” or Christians, as it is used in Ephesians 4:11. The apostle Peter elaborated on this idea of spiritual shepherding when he wrote: “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder…. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you serving as overseers…and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”
In Acts 20, we read that Paul “sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church” (20:17). While giving them instructions, he said, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (20:28). From these references we understand that the term shepherd is used to describe a spiritual overseer of the Lord’s Church. The word “pastor” is simply the Latin translation of the word “shepherd.” Thus, we can see that the term “pastor” originated from the biblical discussion of spiritual leaders in the early Christian church.
First, there is an inward call. Through his Spirit, God speaks to those persons he has called to serve as pastors and ministers of his Church. The great Reformer Martin Luther described this inward call as “God’s voice heard by faith.” Those whom God has called know this call by a sense of leading, purpose and growing commitment.
This sense of compulsion should prompt the believer to consider whether God may be calling him to the ministry. Has God gifted you with the fervent desire to preach? Has he equipped you with the gifts necessary for ministry? Do you love God’s Word and feel called to teach? Spurgeon warned those who sought his counsel not to preach if they could help it. “But,” Spurgeon continued, “if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.” That sense of urgent commission is one of the central marks of an authentic call. Charles Spurgeon identified the first sign of God’s call to the ministry as “an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.” Those called by God sense a growing compulsion to preach and teach the Word, and to minister to the people of God.
Leaders are natural people converted into spiritual vessel of God and are persons humble enough to know when his mission are approved by God. Prayer and supplication is not an option but an essential propensity required to build spiritual strength for this building of a congregation; a Pastor’s life is everything he does, his family is looking at the things he does and the way he carry out his business and will not be shied away from be corrected that you are now the leader and not just an ordinary person.
Ethics and Integrity- Ethics have two components: belief and practice. Your beliefs and convictions are only the first part of ethics. These beliefs are rooted in your spiritual nature. You may believe that stealing is wrong. You may feel that lying is wrong or that hurting someone’s feelings is unsuitable. These are beliefs! The second part of ethics is how you act on your beliefs and convictions. Yes! stealing is wrong, but it is okay to take a few ink pens and a pack of Post-It notes home from work every week. Everyone does it. Yes! lying is wrong, but a little lie could save your job. What’s the harm in that? The second part of ethics, how you practice, is the heart of ethical behavior.
Men need to recognize their leadership role and bring the relationship back into balance when things go somewhat contrary. Men honor God by maintaining a good relationship with their family, and everyone they do business. At all cost, they need to take charge and be the mouth piece for God, be his spokes-person through the life that they lead. Christians are view as very opinionated and spiritual which is not a problem being selective or different but never let your good be evil spoken of as a result of your negative actions; leaders are expected to be circumspect in communication and be different in decision making. One has to be a person God can count on and the people can depend on; even though in time past your conversations were shaped according to your sinful DNA God has changed you into his righteousness; hence, we are expected to turn a blind eye on all sinful lust and proclivities of the flesh; let us not become men-pleasers and greedy with the pride of life because God has called us to a greater place than to represent ourselves but to preach him being the crucified Christ and the only Jehovah Salvation.
The Challenges of New Church/Ministry
Starting a new Church Ministry can be very rewarding in the future as long as you are prepared to combat all unforeseen circumstances. It is imperative to formulate strategies to save yourself from spiritual and health breakdown as a result of the stressful experience faced in building this organization. The demands on your time may be greater than you anticipated, and enough money to keep things going can also be a problem. With some careful planning, you can anticipate some of these challenges and be able to overcome them. Leaders face incredible pressures; limited finances, expectations from other ministry workers, conflict with family and other church organizations who wishes that your failure.
New ministry environment is similar to the Noah Ark experience, where you are not furnished with the better-quality furniture, edifice, equipment and people. Most of the times one will have to pray, sing and worship on their own or with a small group sometime just family members; the feeling of isolation is going to present its ugly head; secondly, the anointing is not going to be as rich in that environment as previously experience when you were participating in a larger group of people. Goal setting is a process for defining targets you plan to achieve, which is an essential function of management. By setting goals and measuring their achievements you can focus on what is more important, and not encumbered with noncritical tasks, and achieve greater results.
Critics argue that people currently planting churches are making a risky move because people are becoming more and more disinterested in religion. Some of these views that are shared can be confused from the standpoint that people are departing from the faith for various reasons; however, it is important to note that ministry workers are few to behold and people are not supporting your vision without some form of competition or counteraction; with this in mind in become relevant for the Bishop or Pastor in this matter to have full understanding what is at stake. Beginning from the furnishing of the building to the watering of the plants on its interior is expected to be done by the leadership in question which is Bishop or Pastor.
Your overall responsibilities encompass rentals for the premises, which you should be prepared to handle for period up to two years before you will be getting any form of assistance. This task means that you have to be called by God to effectively handle monthly expenditures; finding faithful ministry workers and leaders will be a struggle because people are venturing ministry for many different causes and desiring to use your podium to enlarge their territory from an independent perspective; they will work with you until they see the light and they are gone with the wind; it is advisable that you put your plans before the Lord through prayer and supplications and through faith God will lead you to your next step in this journey.